Wednesday, June 10, 2009
It was not a large rally in Harrisburg yesterday but the message was clear: lawmakers need to cut spending instead of raising revenue in next year’s budget. About 80 people showed up for the event organized by Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe. Cumberland County resident Thelma Spurner was among the 80. She says her family trimmed spending after losing money in the markets, and she does not understand why the commonwealth can’t do the same. She says, “For the governor to threaten us every year by saying we’re going to close the libraries, we’re going to close the parks now. We’re going to take money away from the schools—that’s not mature thinking or talking.” Pennsylvania lawmakers are trying to close a $3.2 billion deficit this year, and some Democrats are considering raising the personal income tax from its current 3.07 percent level to help fill that gap. Governor Rendell says that’s a last resort, but House Appropriations Committee Chair Dwight Evans, a Philadelphia Democrat, says some sort of a tax increase has to be part of the final budget.